Women’s Justice Leadership Panel


The Women’s Justice Leadership Panel (‘The Panel’) was established in January 2022 to address gender inequality and improve women’s experiences within the justice system.

Members of the Panel examined the experiences of women as both victims and offenders in a range of settings including policing, community justice, criminal and civil courts, tribunals and prisons.

Key issues for the Panel included:

  • how women experience the Scottish justice system differently from men, in what ways their needs are not being met and how it impacts on them
  • international and UK examples where women’s needs are more appropriately met
  • how to address under-representation of women in senior leadership roles and how this impacts on the culture in justice organisations

Five themes for discussion were derived from a call for evidence held by the Scottish Government in October 2021:

  • hidden sentences, and caring responsibilities, for women in the justice system
  • the gap between policy and practice, and the impact this has on women within the justice system
  • culture, gender, and sexism within the justice system
  • blurring lines between victim and offender’s statuses for women in justice system
  • intersectionality and its application in justice setting

The Panel explored these themes in detail, creating a better understanding of the impacts on women, and building the case for fundamental system change to better reflect these needs.

The Panel have now published their key findings and conclusions - Women’s Justice Leadership Panel - The Case for Gendered and Intersectional Approaches to Justice.

The press release accompanying the publication of the report can be found here.

This work will be crucial in furthering our understanding of gender and intersectionality in the justice system.


  • Siobhan Brown MSP, Minister for Victims and Community Safety (Chair)
  • Ruth Charteris QC, Solicitor General
  • Jacqueline Clinton, Scottish Prisons Service
  • Ch Supt Hilary Sloan, Police Scotland
  • Rose McConnachie, Head of learning, development and innovation at Community Justice Scotland
  • Jen Ang, Director of Development and Policy, Scottish Women's Right Centre/Just Right
  • Harriet Wistrich, Director, Centre for Women’s Justice
  • Professor Vanessa Munro, University of Warwick, School of Law
  • Mariam Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer for Amina Muslim Women’s Resource Centre


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